California’s Leaders and Visionaries are lacking in leadership and vision. Other than that, things are going great.
People are starting to notice that the “leaders” in California aren’t doing such a great job. Over at The Daily Beast, Joel Kotkin does a nice job of making his case that California is becoming a feudal society of the very rich, the very poor and a vanishing middle class, with a liberal-socialist dominated state government that is incapable of dealing with any crisis large or small, no matter how much advanced warning they have. The “no-growth” and “environment first” policies have resulted in a state whose crumbling infrastrucure is insufficient to support it’s burgeoning population. Hell, it was insufficient 40 years ago during the reign of Moonbeam I, and now during the Weekend at Bernie’s administration of Moonbeam II and III we’ll be lucky if there’s water to flush the toilets.
What am I talking about? THE DROUGHT!
Who could possibly have foreseen a drought? Only anyone with a pulse, that’s who. What are we doing about it? Letting our lawns die. Visionary! More importantly what are we doing to alleviate the next drought? Because there will be a next drought. California’s history is basically a list of droughts that occur on a regular basis. You can practically set your clock by them. SO…are we planning a system of aqueducts like the Romans did? Nope. Are we building more dams and reservoirs for water storage capacity? Nope. We passed a bond measure (translation: borrowed money) to deal with the problem. What are we building with the money? A giant bureaucracy to create regulations on how we use water. Problem solved!
It’s not that we can’t afford to do something about it. God knows our politicos are shoveling the taxpayer’s money down various holes like a fireman shovels coal on a steam locomotive. (Governor Brown: please don’t get any more ideas!). Even with businesses and middle class taxpayers fleeing, there is still record tax revenue. The state budget has more than doubled in the last 20 years. So what’s the problem? The problem is the mindset – what we chose to spend (and not spend) on. The mindset about what ends are achievable and desirable versus those that are counter to the laws of economics, not to mention the laws of physics and indeed the laws of nature itself.
Some time ago I wrote that California needs leaders – Men to Match Her Mountains. Or Women. Women or Men with the vision to see what needs to be done and the courage to see it done.
I am not advocating mass disregard for the environment, but if you’re going to have forty million or more people live somewhere, they are going to have needs and those needs must be met. Meeting those needs will leave a footprint. Visionaries look forward and find innovative ways to meet challenges. Yeah, we’ll leave a footprint or two. But we can also tread lightly as possible and mitigate the effects of the things we need to do, the things that we must do.
There is nothing “progressive” about a mindset that says in order to move forward we must lower our standards of living and make do with less. That we must aspire to less. That we must scale back our dreams. If that is what our leaders and visionaries are telling us, then they are neither leaders nor visionaries.